How to Look at the Royal Academy Summer Show

Ah, the RA Summer show! People insist on assessing it as if it were an exhibition, when it is essentially an Art Fair: one without gallerists, but with the usual features of variable quality, too much to take in, and visual incoherence. As such, there will of course be plenty to annoy you, but you will also have, every now and again, one of the best fair experiences – you see a work, wonder who made it, are surprised to find it was x. But then you think yes, that makes sense as an extension of their practice.

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